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Wild & Millington Looking To Bounce Back

16 November 2018

Interim Academy Manager Pete Wild and Coach Developer Chris Millington are focusing on a reaction after the youth team bowed out of the FA Youth Cup against Sunderland.

The pair had no arguments with the result on the night, but Wild says it wasn’t a true reflection of the progress the youngsters have made over the past couple of months.

“I thought it was a fair result, I thought they were a lot better than us, but we're disappointed because we didn't really show our true identity, but it was a fair reflection on the night.” he said.

“We got hit with two quick goals which happens a lot in football, you concede one and then another straight away because you're still trying to sort out what went wrong for the first goal.

“To get hit with one after another in such a short space of time doesn't help the situation, but after that we had our best period of the game up until half-time, so it was a bit of a sucker punch on the evening.”

Wild also believes that the academy as a whole need to learn from this experience going forward and that development of the young Latics players is the most important task.

“We've said in the dressing room it's a learning curve for the players and for Chris and me as coaches.

“We've had a really good run of form, but it's hit home tonight that we've got to keep working hard and keep learning, but it's a really good development form as something to strive and aspire for, so we'll take that from the evening.

“We've got to keep learning; the boys have got to understand that, and we've got to understand that as youth team because it's all about development.”

Millington echoed what Wild had to say, but he also says that the team looked nervous in the opening exchanges of the contest.

However, once them nerves had settled, he believes that the team showed some real glimpses of quality in the game.

“It took us a while to settle into the game, we looked very nervous early on, there was an edginess about our play and we struggled to get our passing right which I think that showed early on.” He commented.

“Once Sunderland had that two-goal advantage we settled into the game and showed some real quality on the ball, but I think ultimately the difference was their know-how as a category one academy.

“There are aspects of our training and style of play that have come out tonight and we've looked really good in possession at times.

There were some moments when we had the ball that were great and some nice passages of play and if we could have converted one or two of them chances we created it might have been a different story, it might have put Sunderland under a bit more pressure.”

The youth team have a quick turn around with an away trip to Rotherham United on Saturday.

Millington believes it will be a good opportunity to put things right and start up another unbeaten run for the academy.

“The game on Saturday gives us the opportunity to put it right and that's the note we've left with the boys in the changing room.

“As Pete has said we've been on a great run recently, so this sparks the end of that to a certain agree, but we start again and keep climbing the league which we want to do, we want a real big impact on the division we're in.

“It's all about development and a real indication of development is winning games and moving up the league.”

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